To What Extent Was Destalinization Responsible for Khrushchev’s Fall from Power in 1964?

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To what extent was Destalinization responsible for Khrushchev’s fall from power in 1964? Many Historians have debated as to why Khrushchev fell from power in 1964. Historian John Laver states that the failures in foreign policy “are what provided the final straw for many colleagues” however Pravda were eager to blame “his hare-brained schemes”. To assess the reason for his fall from power in 1964 one must assess the policy of De-Stalinisation, his failures in foreign policy and his economic reforms and their failures. This essay shall argue that the main reason for his downfall was his policy of De-Stalinisation. The policy of De-Stalinisation is what fundamentally caused all the other problems for Khrushchev as it angered the Party and caused problems with foreign policy. The policy of De-Stalinisation mainly included the de-centralisation of the Party, the removal of terror and censorship (with “the Thaw”), and the denunciation of Stalin himself. Khrushchev aimed to de-centralise the Party by abolishing the economic ministries and replacing them with 105 regional ministries (which by 1956 was reduced to 47), by introducing term limits, by removing privileges (dachas, special access to shops and education), by splitting the Party into agriculture and industry (creating more positions and weakening the Party’s overall hold on the economy) and by ensuring that ¼ of the Central Committee, 1/3 of the Republics and ½ of the lower level officials were all replaced. This angered the Party and some Historians suggest that “it was the removal of the privileges and job security that the Party held under Stalin” (Laver) that ultimately led to Khrushchev’s fall from power however it was a part of De-Stalinisation which in turn suggest that De-Stalinisation was responsible. Terror is what Historian Peter Kenez calls “the heart of the regime” and many Historians suggest that it was Khrushchev’s removal of terror during De-Stalinisation that led to the downfall of the Soviet...
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